Left to right: Cindy Ballew, physical therapist assistant; Linda Romero; and Gilbert Rodrigo, PTA student

Linda Romero came to Life Care Center of Escondido, California, on June 4, 2018, after surgery for a traumatic brain injury caused by a fall at home.


While at the hospital, Romero was infected with clostridium difficile and was treated with antibiotics, which caused her to be more debilitated and weak. She also has history of hypertension, high cholesterol, acid reflux and chronic dry eye. Post-surgery, she experienced pain on surgical site, right-sided weakness and was not able to get around on her own. She also developed right-side neglect.


When Romero came to Life Care Center of Escondido, she was completely dependent for bed mobility and transfers. At that time, she needed two people to help her and a mechanical lift to transfer her from bed to her wheelchair. She also had difficulty performing daily activities such as upper-body dressing, lower-body dressing, showering, brushing her teeth, eating and combing her hair. All of these daily activities required total dependency.


With Romero’s strong motivation, good family support and help of the rehab and nursing departments of Life Care Center of Escondido, she gradually increased her strength, endurance and mobility through intensive rehabilitation. She took part in physical and occupational therapies six times per week.


Eventually, Romero’s surgical site was healed, and her pain was successfully managed through pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions. As the pain subsided, she was able to participate better and more actively during her therapy sessions.


“I wanted regular food and coffee,” Romero shared.


She can now feed herself independently and enjoy eating and drinking normal textures again. She can walk, transfer, balance and groom herself with supervision. She only needs minimal assistance with getting dressed and assistance with bathing.


Romero completed her therapy on Aug. 30.


“Linda’s motivation to go to therapy helped her succeed and achieve her goal,” said Florante Noble, director of rehab.